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(Pocket-lint) - IOGEAR are quick to point out in the promotion of the Germ Free Wireless Laser Mouse that according to the University of Arizona the average office desk is home to some 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat, yet the average office worker has neither the time nor inclination to disinfect that desktop.

End result is the presence of microbes that contribute to the spread of pneumonia, influenza, strep throat and other assorted viruses. The solution would seem to be to move your office into the toilet, although that may not the most convenient of options.

Alternatively, you could try covering your mouse in a nano coating of titanium oxide (TiO2) and a silver (Ag) nano-particle compound that effectively auto-disinfects its surface and either prevents or deactivates bacteria with a 99% success rate.

Unfortunately this is beyond the knowledge of all but the geekiest, and frankly quite worryingly so, of our readers. So why not let someone else do it for you, which is where IOGEAR enter the fray with their self-cleaning, germ free wireless laser mouse.

Claiming to inhibit a wide range of antibodies, viruses and even algae (although this would be more likely to affect those people working in the toilet than the office one has to imagine) the mouse is ideal for use anywhere that there is a high volume of traffic. By which we mean nasty germ infected people.

So how does it work? Well, apparently the titanium oxide attracts water and oxygen molecules which, when combined with the electrons of the titanium oxide and light, give off free oxygen ion bases. The ions restrain, clean and eliminate parasites while creating water, carbon and oxygen molecules, starting the cleansing process over again.

All of which is a unique selling point - well nearly as there is one other bacteria-inhibiting mouse we know of from Elecom and only available in Japan, but what about the technical specs? Well surprisingly it rates really rather highly here.

Using a Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) as the light source, the IOGEAR mouse can provide as much as 30 times more tracking power than a bog standard optical sensor driven mouse. What’s more, it does this on pretty much any surface, including glass, to an impressive resolution of 1600dpi.

Who cares about the resolution of a mouse? Anyone who wants to reduce the amount of wrist travel in a days work, and the consequent chance of a repetitive strain injury we would have thought.

The USB device is truly plug and play as you would expect, provides a 2 metre range for the wireless signal which proved strong enough to work without interruption, and comes with a 3 year warranty. Which is nice. The power consumption can be a little alarming though, running off standard AAA batteries (x2) if you forget to use the on/off switch. Which is not so nice.

It would have been nice if there were some kind of desktop charging cradle as with the Logitech wireless mice, or an auto-off function, but keep a couple of sets of rechargeable batteries around and it’s no big deal. Better still, switch the thing off when you are done! And talking of idiot proofing, we couldn’t wrap this review up without passing on the advice from IOGEAR that comes with the mouse:

“This device cannot be used as antibiotic or anti-viral medication. Do not ingest the surface material of the device under any circumstances. If you have symptoms of bacteria or viral infection please consult with your physician and seek medical attention immediately. This device does not eliminate the entire universe of bacteria or viruses.”


Kim and Aggie would be proud, indeed there might even be a new series called "How Clean is Your Mouse" on the cards. A gimmick, for sure, but a good mouse none the less and with the added bonus of helping keep the bugs at bay.

Writing by Davey Winder. Originally published on 24 October 2006.